OAR and Dispatch co-headlines at Red Butte Garden • Salt Lake Magazine
The joint OAR and Dispatch summer tour will take place at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheater on July 29, 2022 with special guest G. Love.
OAR (acronym for Of A Revolution) emerged from the college indie rock scene in the late 1990s. It was a time of “revolution” for independent artists thanks in part to file-sharing pioneer Napster and others that provided a vehicle for unsigned indie bands to share their music with wider audiences and potentially open up touring possibilities beyond a regional scope. .
Both OAR and Dispatch have benefited from these new technologies. A global network of possibilities allowed them to bring their music to the masses without the support of a major record company.
OAR recorded their debut album in their basement, then hit the road building their fan base, one busy live show at a time. They scored their first college radio hit with the reggae/rock fusion “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” a song about a poker game with the devil. Building on this success, OAR signed with a major record label and released a series of hits such as “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)” and “Love and Memories”.
The band has amassed a huge fan following on the road over the years. Relentless touring and three full length live albums demonstrate their commitment to this audience. Their sound mixes alt-rock guitar riffs with festive reggae beats and surf and jazz inflections. Unlike more traditional alternative rock bands that rely on guitars to build a wall of sound, OAR brings in a sax to deliver a rich soul.
OAR is on tour in support of a recently released album The game room. Its debut single and accompanying video “In the Clouds” offers a contemporary jazzy sound while maintaining a playful, youthful rock edge.
The co-headliner is New England-based band Dispatch. Like OAR, they formed in the late 90s playing the college rock circuit with their own blend of reggae-infused jam rock. Dispatch never enjoyed the commercial success of OAR, but they built a huge fan base with their epic live performances. Despite the lack of a mega-hit single, the band have amassed an impressive catalog of well-crafted tracks. How many under-the-radar indie rock bands can sell three nights at Madison Square Garden?
Dispatch is a socially conscious roots rock band that mixes folk, punk and blues and sprinkles in reggae to keep the vibe light. Their anti-war anthem “The General” is a prime example of their musical and lyrical prowess. They even recorded a version of the song in Russian!
Opening the festivities is a solo by G. Love (he usually tours with his band Special Sauce.) G. Love (aka Garrett Dutton) is a Grammy-nominated artist who mixes old school blues with hip hop, R&B and funk.
It’s hard to imagine that OAR’s “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)” topped the charts nearly 15 years ago. Are we talking about millennial nostalgia? Is that even a thing? Yet a good high-energy show transcends any generational era. On July 29, the Red Butte Garden Amphitheater hosts a trio of stellar performers who will get the crowd going. I suspect the backyard will be filled with music fans from baby boomer to alpha generation and everything in between.
- Who: OAR, Dispatch and G. Love
- What: iIndie rRock steeped in reggae
- Where: Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
- When: July 29, 2022
- Tickets and info: redbuttegarden.org
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